Now, before you clutch your pearls and purse those lips like your sucking a daiquiri out of a straw, let me preface this entire story with this. I am an environmentalist and I think humans take crap care of the planet. I'm also on board with pretty much anything that will potentially help us preserve the Earth and the life forms (like us) on it. I like being here even if some of my fellow humans consider the third rock from the sun their personal trash toter. See, I am environmentally conscious. However, I don't think paper straws are make us 'greener'. I think they're irritating.

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A couple of friends of mine and I had this exact conversation just a couple of days ago. We were eating at a downtown Owensboro restaurant (which shall remain nameless) and were given paper straws by our server. Now, MKat and our friend Mercedes were guzzling back a couple of bottles of beer, so they only had to deal with the straws in their water. I was drinking water and a lemonade and I had those horrid paper straws in both.

Usually, I don't like straws at all- even the plastic ones. Typically, the first thing I do when I am presented one is either hand it back or, if it's already shoved down inside the glass, I will remove it and just lay it on the table out of the way. However, for some reason, on this particular day, I actually took a sip of lemonade from the straw and then realized it was paper. UGH!!  Two sips later that straw was already moist and gummy and gross and on my nerves.

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People, why are we doing this? As I mentioned before, I am all about saving the planet. I am basically Earth Day with a beard. But I don't think drinking my lemonade out of a paper straw, then walking across the street and firing up my gasoline-powered Fusion named Fred is really working through and solving the preservation equation. And are paper straws even really that safe and effective?

Do what I did!  Type this into Google. Type "Do paper straws really help the environment?" Read the first few articles that come up. You'll see! As it turns out, they may not help at all.

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You may have seen the recent stat about how many plastic straws Americans use. It's estimated at about 500 million every single day. Now, according the New York Times that estimate came from a 9-year-old. Let me say this. More power to the kid for being our version of Greta Thunberg, but industry experts say that figure is incredibly exaggerated. According to the Times, that figure sits somewhere on the continuum between 170 million and 390 million, which is still a heckuva lot.

But, during my Google expedition, I checked out a couple of different articles and sources online and it seems that paper straws present their own issues. They can bleed chemicals into your beverage. Uh, what?  And, get this! In some situations, they don't even biodegrade.

If that's the case, why was I sitting in a restaurant sucking Minute Maid lemonade out of a gross, nasty, wet, limp, paper straw that has all the charm of a catheter? No, thank you!

 

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